Although a lesser draw, 92Y Tribeca’s latest show featured another trio
of top comedians.
Wyatt Cenac and Joe DeRosa.
DeRosa and Wyatt Cenac appeared as part of a much different evening of
comedy than the previous week’s (see
review) at 92Y Tribeca on January 15, which was studded with
alternative stars including Janeane Garofalo, David Cross and Paul F.
Where that trio attracted a standing room crowd, DeRosa and Cenac, along
with host Liam McEneaney and surprise guest Jim Gaffigan, had a sparse
collection of audience members at tables in the same room, but did their
best with that. Granted, it was a really cold night, one for the true
diehards to make it out.
Cenac projects an inventive albeit dour personality, not quite what one
would expect from his more genial appearances on the Daily Show. For
instance, he wonders about kidney transplant stories that recently made
news -- particularly if a woman who donated a kidney to her husband had
first seen the other story of a husband suing in a divorce for a kidney
he donated, would she still have gone through with it? And with his low
voice, it’s all the more surprising when Cenac pulls out a flawless
vocal impression of a Jewish grandmother.
However, DeRosa, about to get a showcase with a Comedy Central special,
was the true find of the night, for those who weren’t familiar with him.
He projects a frustrated, addictive and weird personality, and packed
the most material into the time he had. (Each comedian did about 20
Gaffigan seemed to be unveiling and trying out new material, doing
extended riffs on bowling, ketchup and other subjects that would be
mundane in anyone else’s hands, all punctuated with his trademark
Both Cenac and DeRosa gave mild nods to crowd work, interacting a little
here and there, only when encouraged by stray comments from the
audience. Rather than detracting from the show as you might expect,
though, it added to the intimate feel of the performance. The feel of
the room also made DeRosa’s energy more kinetic and crackling, making
him the sharpest performer on the bill.